Tea Party Society sets Tax Day protest
It will be like 1773 without the tri-cornered hats in Houston, elsewhere
By RENÉE C. LEE HOUSTON CHRONICLE
April 13, 2009, 11:37PM
The women huddled in the corner of the Panera Bread restaurant on a recent Friday looked like friends catching up on their busy lives over a late lunch than revolutionaries planning a tax revolt.
Felicia Cravens and her friends call themselves the Houston Tea Party Society, part of a national movement in which thousands of people in cities across the country plan to stage Tax Day Tea Parties on Wednesday to protest the federal government’s billion-dollar economic stimulus packages and bailouts for the banking and auto industries. Tea parties are planned for nearly a dozen cities in the Houston area, including Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Friendswood and Pearland.
The rallies take their names from the Boston Tea Party, the 1773 event in which colonists dumped tea into the Boston Harbor to protest taxes imposed by the British monarchy.
That is how many people today feel about government spending policies that have racked up trillions of dollars in debt, local organizers said.
“The message to the politicians is, we want them to repeal the ridiculous spending and the out-of -control financial shenanigans or we’re going to retire them,” said Cravens, a Katy resident and part-time teacher.
Cravens said she got the idea to organize a Houston tea party while chatting on social networks with other conservatives energized by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s televised rant on the Chicago Trading Floor on Feb. 17. Santelli was cheered on by traders as he railed against the government for subsidizing bad mortgages for people who could not afford to buy the homes.
She quickly connected with others who shared her views about the current administration’s policies and in six days organized a rally that drew about 500 people to Discovery Green Park on Feb. 27, the same day similar protests took place in more than 40 cities nationwide.
Cravens said she expects as many as 3,000 people to attend Wednesday’s rally.